NHS Staff Shortage Forces Closure of Mental Facility

A mental facility based at Stracathro Hospital in Angus, will close on February 1 due to NHS staff shortage, particularly the junior doctor staff. The Mulberry Unit which houses a number of patients with mental health issues, will be shifting its staff and patients to Carseview Center in Dundee. The closure of Mulberry unit have enraged Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the northeast, Mike Rumbles, as the closure will force patients and their families to travel from Angus to Dundee for treatment and to visit loved ones.

The MSP criticizes the government for the closure and for not addressing the issue of NHS staff shortage despite of its persistence for years. ""I am frustrated that those with the Cabinet Secretary for Health's ear have chosen to attack NHS Tayside rather than the SNP Administration's failure to address the shortage of mental health staff in Angus," he states. Mr. Rumbles feels particular concern over NHS Tayside, the health care service provider in the Angus, City of Dundee and Perth, and Kinross areas after it received hits of criticism from the government, the Montrose Review  says.

NHS Tayside have also been significantly affected by the national staff shortage and also struggles to keep health facilities open. Last year, some concerned citizens have started a petition following concerns that Mulberry Unit could shut. More than 2,300 people have signed it so far.

According to the Evening Telegraph , the petition, started by Jenny Laird, of Forfar, raised a number of concerns including people from outside Dundee needing to travel greater distances to access the facility. Additionally, Kevin Keenan, group leader in Dundee, said Carseview Center may not be able to cope with the increased burden, which could lead to an increase in suicides among patients. In the UK, mental health service  is one of the leading problems due to inadequate funding and NHS staff shortage.

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